On Friday, the Trump administration announced it was awarding a $1.7-million family planning grant to the pro-life Obria medical clinics group, a non-profit organization.
Obria is an affiliate network of full-service medical clinics providing “professional, comprehensive, and life-affirming care to low-income women and men across the country.”
The award predictably has enraged the “pro-choice” movement. Particularly as the Obria award comes at the same time federal funds are being cut from some Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Obria sometimes refers to itself as the pro-life version of Planned Parenthood. The grant will provide family planning services in California.
“Many women want the opportunity to visit a professional, comprehensive health care facility–not an abortion clinic–for their health care needs; this will give them that choice,” said Obria founder and CEO Kathleen Eaton Bravo.
Obria will manage the work of seven partner clinics in four California counties. Those clinics do not provide abortions. The group says it offers pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal care, HIV/AIDS testing, ultrasounds, cancer testing, well-woman care, pap smears, STD testing and treatment, adoption referral, and post-abortion support.
“None of the funds under this grant going to the sub-recipients can be used for contraceptive drugs and devices,” a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson stated. Beyond the $1.7M in 2019, Obria will receive further funding through 2022 based on availability of funds, grant compliance, and project progress.
Obria expects to receive a total of $5.1M through 2022.
Apparently concerned about a potential reduction in their booming baby-parts business, Planned Parenthood isn’t taking this move sitting down. “We’re very concerned that by Obria entering into the program, they’re denying women information about all their health care options,” said Julie Rabinovitz, CEO of Essential Access Health. “It could really reduce the progress we’ve made in reducing unintended pregnancies.”
Sadly, Essential Access Health will receive $21M in 2019 to provide abortion-related family planning services in California.
Still, progress is being made, as fewer Planned Parenthood affiliates will receive funding in 2019. Compared with 11 PP affiliates receiving federal funds last year, only seven will receive funding this year.
In a statement released Friday, PP indicated that the four affiliates “stripped of funding” served Hawaii, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia, serving 40,000 patients.
“Today, they are removing funding from these trusted health centers and providing funding to entities that do not provide evidence-based treatment,” Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said in the statement.
“Evidence-based treatment?” What the heck does that mean? Prove baby exists, kill baby?
“This continued attack on Title X,” she continued, “will result in dismantling our nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, risking access to comprehensive health care for millions of low-income women and families.”
Unless a federal judge blocks them in a pending lawsuit, more changes are afoot this year for Title X. Changes recently finalized by HHS mean that Obria and other Title X providers will no longer be required to counsel or offer abortion as an option. In the past, that requirement prevented many pro-life groups from applying for the funds.
Providers will also be banned from giving women abortion referrals, under changes that go into effect May 3. In addition, the new HHS rules require that family planning providers receiving Title X grants be financially and physically separate from abortion providers.
Pro-life groups and abortion rights groups both recognize this as a way to strip Planned Parenthood of the millions of dollars it gets from the Title X program.
While PP affiliates were awarded funds this year, they would have to either comply with the new regulations or leave the program. PP’s Wen previously said the organization would not participate in the Title X changes if the rules are allowed to go into effect.
— Obria (@Obriagroup) March 29, 2019
MONEY MATTERS: Late tonight the Trump Administration diverted funds from Planned Parenthood to he Obria group. pic.twitter.com/qEVeKd9CJr
— Fox News @ Night (@foxnewsnight) March 30, 2019
— Obria (@Obriagroup) March 29, 2019